Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Manuscripts of the Elder President Edwards

A bit of biographical perspective from Tryon Edwards’ Introduction to Jonathan Edwards' Charity and Its Fruits:
PERHAPS no person ever lived who so habitually and carefully committed his thoughts, on almost every subject, to writing, as the elder President Edwards. His ordinary studies were pursued pen in hand, and with his notebooks before him; and he not only often stopped in his daily rides by the wayside, but frequently rose even at midnight to commit to paper any important thought that had occurred to him. 
As the result of this habit, his manuscripts are probably more thoroughly the record of the intellectual life of their author than those of any other individual who has a name in either the theological or literary world. These manuscripts are also very numerous. The seventeenth century was an age of voluminous authorship. The works of Bishop Hall amount to ten volumes octavo; Lightfoot's, to thirteen; Jeremy Taylor's, to fifteen; Dr. Goodwin's, to twenty; Owen's, to twenty-eight; while Baxter's would extend to some sixty volumes, or from thirty to forty thousand closely printed octavo pages. The manuscripts of Edwards, if all published, would be more voluminous than the works of any of these writers, if possibly the last be excepted. And these manuscripts have been carefully preserved and kept together; and about three years since were committed to the editor of this work, as sole permanent trustee, by all the then surviving grandchildren of their author.
—Jonathan Edwards, Ethical Writings (vol. 8 in the Works of Jonathan Edwards; ed. Paul Ramsey; New Haven: Yale University, 1989), 125.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.