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soning; and particularly that great objection, in which the modern writers have so much gloried, so long triumphed, with so great a degree of insult towards the most excellent divines, and in effect against the gospel of Jesus Christ:-viz. That the Calvinistic notions of God's moral government are contrary to the common sense of mankind. In this essay, I propose to take particular notice of the writings of Dr. Whitby, and Mr. Chubb, and the writings of some others, who, though not properly Pelagians, nor Arminians, yet, in their notions of the freedom of the will, have, in the main, gone into the same scheme. But, if I live to prosecute my design, I shall send you a more particular account of my plan, after it is perfected.
suppose there has been a trial before now, whether a national collection can be obtained in Scotland, for New-Jersey College: unless it has been thought prudent, by such as are friends of the affair, to put it off a year longer; as some things I have seen, seem to argue. There was a design of Mr. Pemberton's going to England and Scotland. He was desired by the Trustees, and it was his settled purpose, to have gone the last year; but his people, and his colleague, Mr. Cummings, hindered it. His intention of going occasioned great uneasiness among his people, and created some dissatisfaction towards him, in the minds of some of them. Since that, President Burr has been desired to go, by the unanimous voice of the Trustees. Nevertheless, I believe there is little probability of his consenting to it; partly, on the account of his having lately entered into a married state. On the 29th of last month, he was married to my third daughter.
"What you write of the appointment of a gentleman, to the office of Lieut. Governour, of Virginia, who is a friend of religion, is an event, that the friends of religion in America have great reason to rejoice in; by reason of the late revival of religion in that province, and the opposition that has been made against it, and the great endeavours to crush it, by many of the chief men of the province. Mr. Davies, in a letter I lately received from him, dated March 2, '52, mentions the same thing. His words 66 are, we have a new Governour; who is a candid, condescending gentleman. And, as he has been educated in the church of Scotland, he has a respect for the Presbyterians; which I hope is a happy omen." I was in the latter part of the last summer, applied to, with much earnestness and importunity, by some of the people of Virginia, to come and settle among them, in the work of the ministry; who subscribed handsomely for my encouragement and support, and sent a messenger to me with their request and subscriptions; but I was installed at Stockbridge, before the messenger came. I have written some account of the state of things, at Stockbridge, to Mr. McLaurin; which you doubtless will have opportunity to see.
"July 24. The people of Northampton are still destitute of a
minister, and in broken, sorrowful circumstances. They had the last winter, Mr. Farrand, a young gentleman from New-Jersey College; but contended much about him, so that he has left them. They are now in a state of contention; my warmest opposers are quarrelling among themselves. I hear they have lately sent for a young preacher, a Mr. Green of Barnstable, who is soon expected; but I know nothing of his character.
"Another minister has lately been dismissed from his people, on the same account that I was dismissed from Northampton: viz. Mr. Billings, of Cold Spring. Many of the Cold Spring people were originally of Northampton, were educated in the principles, and have followed the example, of the people there.
"I heartily thank you, for the accounts you have from time to time sent me of new books, that are published in Great Britain. I desire you would continue such a favour. I am fond of knowing how things are going on in the literary world.
"Mr. John Wright, a member of New-Jersey College; who is to take the degree of Bachelor of Arts, the next September; is now at my house. He was born in Scotland; has lived in Virginia; is a friend and acquaintance of Mr. Davies; has a great interest in the esteem of the religious people of Virginia, and is peculiarly esteemed by President Burr; has been admitted to special intimacy with him; and is a person of very good character for his understanding, prudence, and piety. He has a desire to have a correspondence with some divine of his native country, and has chosen you for his correspondent, if he may be admitted to such a favour. He intends to send you a letter with this, of which I would ask a favourable reception, as he has laid me under some special obligations.
"My wife joins with me in affectionate salutations to you, and Mrs. Erskine. Hoping that we shall continue to remember each other at the Throne of Grace, I am,
"Your affectionate and obliged
Soon after he had entered on the mission at Stockbridge, Mr. Edwards addressed the Rev. Mr. Hollis, by letter, concerning the Indian schools, and the state of the mission at large. The observations of a year had now brought him far more intimately acquainted with the actual state of things, and particularly, with the manner in which the annual benefactions of that gentleman had been expended; and he felt himself bound, at whatever hazard, to make the facts known. In doing this, he presented him, in a letter bearing date July 17, 1752, with a succinct and well drawn history of the mission, and stated, in general terms, the unhappy disagree
ment, subsisting among the English inhabitants of Stockbridge, as well as various other circumstances of malignant aspect, which threatened ruin to the mission, and to the Indian schools. Want of room forbids its insertion. With this letter, he forwarded to Mr. Hollis a certificate, from a large number of the most respectable people of the town, stating the actual conduct of his agent or instructor, the condition of the Indian boys, and the manner in which his benefactions had been perverted.
The firm and undeviating course of conduct pursued by Mr. Edwards, with regard to the Indian schools, and the general concerns of the mission, at length convinced the resident trustee, and his new friends, that they had nothing to hope, from any compliances on his part. They resolved, therefore, if possible, to effect his removal from Stockbridge. With this view, that gentleman repaired to Boston, and endeavoured, in conversation, not only with the Commissioners, but with some of the principal men in the government, (and among others, with the Secretary of the Province,) to produce in their minds very unfavourable impressions concerning him particularly, that he was a man of an unyielding character, and unwilling to be reconciled to those, from whom he had differed; and that, by this course, he was likely to ruin the Indian mission. The friends of Mr. Edwards, in Boston, giving him timely notice of this attempt; he addressed a letter to the Hon. Mr. Willard, in his own defence, bearing date July 17, 1752; in which, he so effectually refuted these representations, that the influence of that gentleman was permanently secured, in favour of the mission, and its real friends.
Vote of thanks of Commissioners.-Sermon at Newark.-Measures of the enemies of the Mission defeated.—Letter to Mr. Oliver-Freedom of the Will.-Letter to Mr. Erskine.-Deposition of Mr. Gillespie.-Letter to do.-Letter to Mr. M'Culloch.-Report of Indian Agent.-Reply of Mr. Edwards. Further defeat of the enemies of the Mission.
On the 29th of June, the Secretary of the Commissioners in Boston, forwarded, by their direction, to Mr. Edwards and Mr. Hawley, an official expression of the approbation, entertained by that Board, of the firmness and integrity manifested by them, in their conduct relative to the Stockbridge mission.* The Commissioners knew of the attempt made, to shake their own confidence, and that of the public, in their agents in that mission; and, doubtless, intended, by this prompt and unequivocal act of justice, at once to sustain the hearts of these gentlemen, under their severe trials, and to make it manifest to all men, that, notwithstanding that attempt, they continued to repose in them an undiminished confidence. In his reply, bearing date Aug. 27, 1752, Mr. Edwards, after returning his thanks to those gentlemen, for this very decisive expression of their favourable opinion, made to their Secretary his regular Report of the state of the mission.
After observing, that the people of the town, both English and Indians, notwithstanding repeated and vigorous efforts, to break up their union, and, particularly, to excite a disaffection in them towards their ministers, were all happily united in opinion and affection, except one individual and his family; he mentions the alliance of the resident trustee with his family, which took place soon after the arrival at Stockbridge of his nephew from Connecticut. The latter gentleman soon called on Mr. Edwards, and, after alluding to the fact, that he was opposed to the appointment of his cousin, as superintendent of the female boarding-school, insisted, as a member of the Society in London, and of the board of Commissioners, on knowing his reasons; and, at the same time, offered to be the instrument of settling the differences subsisting at Stockbridge. Mr. Edwards,
*The copy designed for Mr. Hawley, was inclosed in the letter to Mr. Edwards. Probably a similar vote was forwarded directly to Mr. Woodbridge, as that gentleman always enjoyed their fullest confidence.
preferring to answer this demand by letter, declined to make a representation of the case before him, but offered to join with him, in an earnest representation to the board of Commissioners, that they would appoint a Committee, to come on the spot, to enquire into the existing difficulties; on the ground, that it was more proper to have such a Committee, as judges or mediators, than an individual, who was very nearly related to the family, chiefly interested in these contentions; and proposed, that the Commissioners, by their Committee, should be desired to look into the management of the affairs of Stockbridge, from the beginning, by all the living inhabitants and residents of the town, who had had any hand in them, in any respect; declaring himself ready, to open himself with freedom, before such a Committee. His correspondent, in reply, declined this proposal, reasserted his right to know the objections to the proposed teacher of the boarding-school, and intimated the regret which he should feel, if obliged to inform the Society in London, of the existing state of things at Stockbridge.-Mr. Edwards, in his answer, insisted anew on his former proposal, of referring the case to the Commissioners, declared himself not satisfied, that his correspondent, acting singly, had authority to demand the reasons of his judgment, as to the teacher of the female school, whatever the Society in London, or their Commissioners in Boston, acting as a body, might have; and concluded, by referring himself again to the Commissioners, who were his constituents, and who had, a little before, informed him, that they looked upon their agents, as accountable to them only.
The arrival of this gentleman, and the assurances he gave them of his influence with the Society in London, revived for a time, the drooping courage of his friends, particularly of the resident trustee, and of the agent of Mr. Hollis, who had, just before that event, resolved on removing from Stockbridge. Having thus alluded to the mischievous consequences, growing out of this unhappy state of things, Mr. Edwards proceeds,-"Thus things go on, in a state of confusion, of which those at a distance can scarcely have any idea. In the mean time, the affair of the Six Nations is languishing to death. The affair of the Mohawks is, I fear, past recovery, and in a manner dead. They seem to be discouraged, are most of them gone, and I do not expect will come up again; unless it be to get presents, and satisfy their hunger, in the present time of great scarcity in their own country. They have apparently very much given up the idea, of coming hither for instruction. The Onohquaugas have not been here so long, to be discouraged by our management. But if things go on in this manner, it may be expected that they will be discouraged also. The management of things has a great while been in wrong hands. They ought to be conducted exclusively by the Commissioners, who have had the care of Stockbridge affairs; but here are others, who seem to aim to engross all