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I. THE MANUSCRIPTS OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS.*
Few things in literary and theological history are more interesting than the examination of the manuscripts of the great theologian of New England. We passed some time, not long since, in such an examination, in the study of the Rev. Tryon Edwards, D.D., of New London, who has in his possession nearly all the papers and unpublished writings President Edwards left at his death. Among them was the precious work recently given to the public on Charity and its Fruits. There are other works remaining, quite complete, unpublished; for example, a series of Sermons on the Beatitudes, a work on Revelations, a large Commentary on the whole Bible, containing 904 pages, a leaf of the printed English Bible being interposed between every two sheets. There is also an imperfect harmony of the genius, spirit, doctrines, and rules of the Old Testament and the New,-an immense undertaking, which would have been a prodigious monument of theological learning and wisdom had it been completed. We wish that the work on the Apocalypse might be transcribed and given to the world, and that speedily. Such views of men who gathered their knowledge of sacred things from the prayerful study of the Word of God itself, with the aid of the theological treasures in the works of English theologians and reformers, are invaluable. All the manuscripts of Edwards reveal, in the most interesting manner, his indefatigable industry and thoroughness in the study of the Scriptures, his entire submission of all things to their authority, and the acuteness and power with which he grappled with the subjects in morals and metaphysics that occupied his mind. There are note-books from year to year remaining, some of them filled up during the period when he was engaged in controversy against Arminianism, and in the production of his works on Original Sin and the Freedom of the Will. Some of these note-books, or partial students' diaries, or memorandums of thought and study, reveal, in a curious manner, the scarcity of paper, and the necessity Edwards was under of economising in the use of it. He used to make rough blank-books out of odds and ends, backs of letters, scraps of notes sent in from the congregations; and there is one long parallelogram of a book made entirely out of strips from the margins of the old London Daily Gazetteer of 1743, printed for M. Cooper, at the Globe, in Paternoster Row. It is written close and full, within and without, except the remnants or fringes that had some of the printing retained. There is another most curious manuscript made out of circular scraps of paper, 147 leaves being in the shape of half-moons, intermingled with patterns of caps, and other such-like remnants of housewifery, that after they had served as exponents of the wife's ingenuity and industry in head-gear, answered also for the husband's metaphysics, or first rough sketches of exposition or demonstration, in some of the knottiest questions of theology. On one of these pages we have, first, some rough rotes on "efficacious grace," in the controversy with Whitby and others; and next, a note from a family in the parish, for use in the pulpit, which, having performed its service there, was transferred to Edward's economical note-book and of which the following is a literal copy:
* From the pen of Dr Cheever, in the Independent of December 23, 1852,
and his wife desier God's name may be praised In this Congregation for his great goodness to them in Restoring three of their children from dangerous sickness to A considerable measure of health."
Such notes of thanksgiving, as well as of prayer, in the midst of blessings or of trials, were the common habit of piety in those days, as indeed they still are in many parts of New England. Sometimes, doubtless, it degenerated into mere form, or an obtrusive particularity; but it was a grateful, simple, old-fashioned observance, excellent when prompted by the spirit, and always bringing before the mind a recognition of God's special providence, perfectly accordant with the teachings of his Word. It seems to be considered that such things may do very well for the country, but are somewhat out of date and fashion in the city.
On the back or margin of such scraps, stitched together for convenience and preservation, and kept lying by him for continual use, to jot down what. ever might be needed, Edwards would place sometimes the catchwords, sometimes the skeletons of thought and argument, during the composition of some of his greatest works. The following extracts from these portemonnaies of his mind may serve as specimens, for Edwards was like a careful farmer who fills a satchel with acorns for his walks, and at every convenient place deposits the seed of a future oak in his plantations :
"Definition of necessity. Concerning God's foreknowledge. Common sense abuse of words. Incertitude, impossible, moral inability, impossibility, necessity. Definitions. Borrow Stackhouse. They call the act of free-will contingent. See sheets concerning free-will and efficacious grace in the drawer. Borrow Mr Beach's last book. According to Dr Whitby unbelief is never a sin; for he abundantly asserts, &c. This reasoning looks whole and sound at a distance, but it will drop to pieces if you handle it."
This was proved to be the case with most of the plausible reasoning that Edwards took hold upon to handle and examine. The sentence is quite characteristic of the cool and calm manner in which the mighty metaphysi cian advanced to the analysis of whatever in his judgment would not stand the test of truth. On another page we have memorandums as follows:"Definitions. Moral necessity. Self-determining power. Contingency. Arminians differ among themselves. Dr Whitby forgot that what God does, &c. Stebbing changes the question, 223: 229. See the SS. [Scriptures] they allege against efficacious grace. Stebbing forgets the one thing, wherein the assistance of the Spirit consists in giving a meek, teachable frame of mind to prepare men for faith in SS. [Scriptures.] See what the Arminians say concerning those Scriptures that speak of sinners as dead in trespasses and sins, blind, having hearts of stone, &c. Stebbing, page 185, &c. Efficacious grace is not inconsistent with freedom. Whitby's exposition of texts relating to effectual grace."
On the other pages we find notes and memorandums as follows, showing that Edwards had frequently to borrow the books his argument led him to consult or notice :
"Remember to consult the Lime Street Sermons. Remember to borrow Mr Locke's works, his Reasonableness of Christianity and Annotations, to see his notion of Justification by Faith and not by the works of the law, and parți cularly consider and confute it. To confute Dr Watts' notion in the Berry Street Sermons, serm. 13. Election, Particular Redemption, Special Vocation, and Perseverance. See Mrs Dutton's to Mr John Wesley. When God permits, he decrees to permit. If it is no blemish to God to permit sin, then it is no blemish to Him to purpose or intend to permit it. Original Sin. Borrow Dr Barrow's works; also buy or borrow of Dr Johnson or Mr Sergeant, Dr Clarke's Posthumous Sermons, which Dr Johnson speaks of as explaining all texts relating to God's decree of predestination."
It is deeply interesting to look at these disjecta membra in Edward's own
handwriting. They show, among other things, how cautiously, and with what examination and meditation, he advanced in his great trains of argument. He brought every thing to the bar of the Word of God to be investigated at that tribunal. Perhaps there never was an uninspired writer who had a more profound reverence for the Bible; never a mighty mind that more entirely received its wisdom from that celestial source.
The questions which the pastors of that day were accustomed to examine and discuss in the ministers' meetings were mostly biblical and practical, but widely various. From a volume of minutes in MS. on such occasions, we extract the two following memoranda :
"At a meeting of ministers at Cold Spring, Dec. 4, 1746,-Present, the Reverend Messrs Jonathan Edwards, Moderator, Ed. Billing, Tim. Woodbridge, Chester Williams, Scribe. After prayer the following questions considered :— Was that an unrighteous sentence pronounced by David, 2 Sam. xix. 20, 'I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land?' What are we to understand by the First Resurrection? Rev. xx. 6. Can we demonstrate from the perfections of God that there is any connection between God's threatenings of Eternal Punishment and the execution of them? Can we demonstrate the necessity of continued exertion of the divine power for maintaining our existence? Is justifying a sinner included in, or does it precede his regeneration? Upon supposition Adam had fulfilled the covenant he was under, would his posterity bave been translated to heaven? Is it consistent with the Divine perfections to put all mankind under a discipline that necessarily makes some more miserable, though it relieves others?"
Again at Hatfield, Feb. 11, 1746:
"Present-J. Edwards, Moderator, Woodbride, Ashley, T. Woodbridge, C. Williams, Scribe, and J. Judd. After prayer we proceeded to the following questions:- Is it a sufficient reason for ministers to refuse ordaining a person over a pastoral charge and people, that they will not afford him a sufficient support? Whether Pilate ridiculed and bantered the Jews in what he says to them, John xviii. 31 ? Will the sins of the godly be made manifest at the Day of Judgment? How does it appear that the faith of Christians would have been vain if Christ had not risen from the dead?"
We can easily conceive how Edwards would have spoken on some of these questions, by turning to those of his published sermons that discuss them, especially the third in this list. What a privilege it must have been to the ministers assembled in those interesting meetings, to listen to the familiar conversation of a mind like his, on themes that by day and by night occupied his intellect and his heart!
Edwards entered college at New Haven when he was but twelve years of age. In the second year of his collegiate course he read, with the greatest zest and delight, Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding, and doubtless it exerted no little influence in the direction of his metaphysical studies or opinions. It is a curious insolvable problem to think what might have been the result had Cousin's Analysis and Examination of Locke then been in existence, if Edwards had read that work with the same critical eagerness, ardour, and susceptibility of lasting impression. There would have been cast up another and an airy highway in the Freedom of the Will.
II. TOPOGRAPHY OF JERUSALEM.
[Dr Robinson recently communicated to one of the New York literary societies a short outline of his late tour in the Holy Land, the following passage from which (in connection with recent topographical controversies) will be read with interest.]
In Jerusalem and the vicinity we remained twelve days, diligently occu
pied in examining the objects of interest, and investigating the various questions connected with ancient topography. We constantly enjoyed the kind attentions and ready assistance of Dr M'Gowan, and other gentlemen connected with the English missions, as also those of our own countryman, Dr Barclay, now residing in Jerusalem. For all these our best thanks are due. Bishop Gobat had already left the country on a visit to England.
This is not the place to enter upon a discussion of the vexed questions connected with the historical topography of the holy city. I may, however, be permitted to refer to a few particulars, which may serve to show how the public mind has been misled by statements and conclusions not founded on careful and correct observation.
First, in a published plan of Jerusalem, to which are attached the names of the English engineers, Colonel Aldrich and Lieutenant Symonds, the western wall of the Haram, or enclosure of the great Mosque, is laid down with two retiring angles towards its southern end; that is, so that it does not continue straight through its whole length, but in its southern part first turns eastward by a right angle, and then again by a second right angle. Great stress has been laid upon this plan, as constructed from actual survey_by scientific engineers, and therefore decisive as to the point in question. Yet it contradicts the plan of Mr Catherwood, made from actual measurements in the interior of the Haram, as well as all other plans of the city before or since.
Through the kindness of Dr M'Gowan we were able to make some observations having a bearing on the subject. He and Mr Calman accompanied us to the barracks, the residence of the military governor of the city, at the N. W. corner of the Haram, from the roof of which there is a near view of the whole interior. Here not only the general view showed that the western wall is straight throughout, but a special circumstance added strength to the conviction. We had already noticed two cypress-trees standing just inside of this wall near the S. W. corner of the Haram, and south of the house of Abu Sa'ûd, so called, These two trees we could now see standing in a line with the northern part of the wall, as we looked along the latter. We afterwards repaired to the house of Abu Sa'ûd, to which the professional services of Dr M'Gowan had procured for us a ready admission. It is built directly upon the western wall, at some distance from the southern end, and is partly without and partly within the enclosure of the Haram; a passage being broken through the wall in each storey. We were introduced into the uppermost room, where, from the windows, there is a view of the wall further north, and of the southern part of the enclosure. We were also conducted through the buildings in the S. W. corner of the Haram; but not, of course, to any place where we should be exposed to public view. The result was, as before, that the western wall is straight throughout. Such, too, was the testimony of the very intelligent owners of the house; one of whom occupied the post of secretary under the goverment, and had charge of the census.
After all this, I can only repeat the expression of my surprise, that the names of scientific engineers could ever have been attached to the publication of so manifest an error.
Second, In respect to the Valley of the Tyropoeon, so called by Josephus, the new theory, first broached since 1840, and contradictory to the current view of all former centuries, transfers the beginning of this valley from the Yâfa gate to the Damascus gate. This is really a question of interpretation, between the supporters of this hypothesis and Josephus. But so long as, with one voice, they follow him in making Zion terminate at the street leadng down from the Yafa gate, all the laws of philology and hermeneutics require that they should follow him further, and like him make the Tyropoeon and then Akra lie adjacent to Zion. By no law of language can it be justified, that one part of the historian's description should be followed, and another part left out of view.
Third, In connection with this transfer of the Tyropoeon, it has been asserted, that there is no ridge north of Zion, and no rise of ground in that direction. This statement needs correction. The street which runs north in the rear of the Church of the Sepulchre, rises very considerably in that portion of it; although at its southern end it appears to decline northward. But just at this southern end is the Greek Church of St John, beneath which there has been dug out a chapel, standing on ground at least twenty-five feet below the present level of the two streets at that point. In the Bazaars, the water is conducted off by a sewer running toward the south, and further north, opposite to the Church of the Sepulchre, the main street is carried along a covered passage cut through a ridge of solid rock. Turning down at the south end of this covered passage, along the street leading by Helena's Hospital, so called, we enter on the left the court of the Prussian Consul, and ascend by two flights of steps to his garden and dwelling (formerly Mr Lanneau's) on the same ridge. Following the same street further down, we find it crossing very obliquely the crest of the descending ridge. If again from the street running south along the bottom of the depression or valley, one enters the street next south of that just described, he first ascends west rather steeply; the street then turns north, and he ascends quite as steeply, until it turns west again. Here another street comes into it from the south up a rather steep ascent. From all this it appears that there is on the north of Zion a rocky ridge, on which the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands, and which ends below in a rather broad point, about in a line between the said church and the great Mosque. This is the ridge which, with the adjacent tract, according to the description of Josephus, must be regarded as Akra.
That the Tyropoeon itself, probably a narrow ravine, should no longer exist in its former depth, is not surprising, when we consider the immense masses of rubbish with which the city is everywhere covered. The excavated chapel under the Church of St John shows how enormous has been the accumulation along the very line in question.
Fourth, In connection with the same transfer of the Tyropoeon, have been adduced the channels of living water said to enter the city by the Damascus gate. That a report is current among the native inhabitants, that a trickling of water may sometimes be heard at that gate, we formerly learned, and have related; and the same story is now repeated every day. But we never found a person who professed that he himself had ever heard this trickling; neither a native nor much less a Frank. Yet it may well be true, and that without being wonderful, seeing there are two large cisterns just by the gate. But in addition to this supposed channel, one writer asserts, that just outside of the Damascus gate, on the right hand, is a large reservoir of living water flowing into the city, from which several fountains were formerly supplied. Another writer speaks of a well of living water in the Church of the Flagellation, and regards it as connected with this channel at the Damascus gate. Both writers appeal also to the taste of these waters, as resembling that of the waters of Siloam.
It seemed important to prove the accuracy of these statements. therefore, to the Damascus gate, in company with some of our friends, and found not only a cistern on the right side of the gate, but also one on the left side. They are both, however, merely ordinary cisterns of rain-water, filled by the water which runs from the roads and fields above, and is conducted into them by small channels or furrows on the surface of the ground; these we saw. We tasted of the water in the right-hand cistern; it had, indeed, a flavour somewhat like that of Siloam, but it was here merely the taste of impure water. We then tasted of water from the other cistern, and found it almost putrid. We afterwards repaired to the Church of the Flagellation. In the outer court is a large cistern of good rain-water collected from the In an inner court is a small reservoir; and the attendant began to relate how the water in it was never exhausted, and never stood
roofs and courts.