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protestants. He had often seen and lamented this as the event of many a voluminous controversy, that men, of contrary parties, sat down more attached to their own opinions than they were at the beginning, and much more estranged in their affections : He left, therefore, this work to others.
The first piece he published (except some papers in the “ Present State of the Republic of Letters) can scarcely be called controversial, though it was an answer to another. This was entitled, “ Free Thoughts on the most probable Means of reviving the Dissenting Interest: Occasioned by the late Inquiry into the Causes of its Decay : Addressed to the author of that Inquiry, 1730." He treats the author with great civility, and, instead of critieising upon his performance, offers some remarks which may be of general use; and they deserve the regard of all ministers. He points out the principal reasons why many learned and good men are so unpopular and unsuccessful; and hath shewn great knowledge of human nature, and what careful observations he hath made on the dispositions of mankind. This tract is little known, especially by the ministers of the established church ; but at its first publication it met with a favourable reception among persons of different parties and sentiments; and it deserves to be read as a model of a candid, polite manner of remarking upon another author's writings and opinions. The only proper controversy that he was ever engaged in, was with the author of a treatise, entitled, Christianity not founded on Argument,' &c. published in the year 1742, to whom he wrote Three Letters, which were published soon after one another, in 1743. The author of this treatise, under the form of a most orthodox and zealous Christian, pretends to cry up the immediate testimony of the Spirit, and asserts its absolute necessity in order to the belief of the gospel, while at the same time he endeavours to expose all kind of rational evidence by which it could be supported, and advances several very cunning insinuations against the truth of it, in the most pernicious view. Dr. Doddridge, therefore, chose to publish some remarks upon it, not only to defend Christianity in general, but to explain and support some important truths of it, particularly the agency of the divine Spirit, which some had de nied, because others had misrepresented. He thought this treatise affected the foundation of natural as well as revealed religion, and that the ludicrous turns given to Scriptures in it, and the air of burlesque and irony which
runs through it, were very unbecoming a wise and benevolent man, or the infinite moment of the question in debate.
In 1747, he published some remarkable passages in the life of Colonel James Gardiner, who was slain by the rebels at the battle of Prestonpans, September 21, 1745. He
designed by this work, not merely to perform a tribute of 1: gratitude to the memory of an invaluable friend, but of
duty to God and his fellow-creatures, as he had a cheerful hope that the narrative would, under a divine blessing, be the means of spreading a warm and lively sense of religion. These were all the writings our author published, except his practical ones. The first practical piece he published was, “ Sermons on the Education of Children, 1732.” This he intended principally for the use of
his own congregation, to supply, in some measure, that ito want of more frequent personal instructions on the sub
ject, which his care of his pupils necessarily occasioned. These discourses contain a variety of important advices and affecting motives in a little compass, and have been very useful to assist parents in this difficult work. His tender concern for the rising generation, shewed itself in his “ Sermons to Young People," published in 1735; and in his “ Principles of the Christian Religion,” in verse, for the use of children and youth, published in 1743. In this composition, which was drawn up by the desire of his friend Dr. Clark, he hath happily united ease, plainness, and elegance. And here I may also mention his prefixing a “ Recommendatory Preface” to a small piece, entitled,
Familiar Dialogues for children,' written by a lady whose piety and abilities are equally transparent, which is well adapted to instruct them in their duty to God and man, at the same time that it agreeably entertains and amuses them. In 1736, he published “ T'en Sermons on the power and grace of Christ, and the evidences of his glorious Gospel." These three last, on the evidences of the gospel, were, in some later editions, by the particular desire of one of the first dignitaries of the church of England, printed so as to be had separate from the former. They contain a sufficient defence of Christianity, and are well adapted to the use of those whose office calls them to defend it. It gave the author singular pleasure to know that these sermons were the means of convincing two gentlemen of a liberal education and distinguished abilities, who bad been deists, that Christianity was true and divine:
And one of them who had set himself zealously to prejudice others against the evidences and contents of the gospel, became a zealous preacher, and an ornament of the religion he had once denied and despised. In 1741, the Doctor published some Practical Discourses on Regeneration. In 1745, he published another practical treatise, entitled, “ The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, illustrated in a course of serious and practical Addresses, suited to Persons of every Character and Circumstance; with a devout Meditation or Prayer added to each chapter.” Dr. Watts had projected such a work himself, but his growing infirmities prevented his execution of it. He recommended it, therefore, to Dr. Doddridge, imagining him the fittest person of his acquaintance to execute it in a manner that would be acceptable and useful to the world. It was with some reluctance he undertook such a work, amidst his many other weighty concerns. But Dr. Watts' heart was so much set upon the design, and he urged his undertaking it with so much importunity, that he could not deny his request, after having been honoured with his friendship for many years, and receiving much assistance and encouragement from him, in several of his undertakings for the good of the church. After this work was finished, Dr. Watts revised as much of it as his health would admit. It is, indeed, a body of practical di. vinity and Christian experience, and contains, as it were, the substance of all the author's preaching ; and, considering how comprehensive it is, there is hardly any single treatise which
be more serviceable to young ministers and students,
Besides these, he published “ Two Sermons on Salvation by Grace; several Single Sermons, some on particular occasions, and Charges delivered at the Ordination of some of his brethren." There were circumstances relating to each, that led him to believe they might be useful to the public, especially to those who desired the publication, or to whom they were first addressed. “ His plain and serious Address to the master of a family, on the important subject of Family Religion,"deserves particular notice, as it has passed through several editions, been very serviceable to ministers, who, by putting it into the hands of masters of prayerless families
, might excite them to their duty, without being exposed to those inconveniences which a personal admonition might, in some cases and with some tempers, be attended : And the author's reasoning is so plain and forcible, as to leave those inexcusable, who, after reading it, will continue in
this shameful and pernicious neglect. Since his decease, his lesser pieces have been reprinted, in three small volumes : But his capital work was, “ The Family Expositor,” containing a Version and Paraphrase of the New Testament, with Critical Notes, and a Practical Improvement of each Section, in six volumes, 4to. He had been preparing for this work from his entrance on the ministry, and kept it in view in the future course of his studies.
It has been already observed, that his works have been much read and esteemed in these kingdoms, and the colonies; I would add, that the most considerable of them have been translated into foreign languages, and published abroad. His sermons on regeneration, salvation by grace, on the power and grace of Christ, and his letter on family prayer, have been translated into Dutch : The memoirs of Colonel Gardiner, into the Dutch, French, and German languages: The Rise and Progress of Religion, into Dutch, German, Danish, and French. It is observable, that the translation of it into French was undertaken by the particular encouragement of the late Prince and Princess of Orange, and many of the gentry of Holland. A protestant prince of the empire wrote to the undertaker of it, promising to recommend it to those about him. Many persons of quality and rich citizens in Germany and Switzerland were subscribers to it. A pious minister of Wales translated it into the Welch language, that it might be read by those of his congregation who did not understand English; and it would have been printed, could sufficient encouragement have been procured. Some learned men undertook to translate the former volumes of the Family Expositor into German; but an opposition was made to its publication by some of the Lutheran Clergy, from an apprehension that bis interpretation of particular passages, and his reflections upon them, might not agree with their established principles, or form of church government; therefore, the persons concerned in the translation, first published his sermons on regeneration in that language, and the moderation and candour, expressed in them, quieted the opposition, and the work was completed. These writings, thus translated and published, have been well received abroad, particularly in Holland, Germany, and Switzerland. Since the Author's death, a volume of his hymns hath been published, and his theological lectures, of which some account was given above. He intended, had God spared his life, to have published a new translation of the minor prophets, with a commen,
tary tary on them, a sermon to children, some sacramental meditations, and a dissertation on the Jewish proselytes; defending that opinion concerning them, which he mentioned in some of his notes upon the Acts of the Apostles. In this last tract he had made considerable progress, but it is too imperfect to appear in the world. Besides his works above-mentioned, he published a short account of the life of Mr. Thomas Steffe, one of his pupils, prefixed to some of his sermons, which were printed by the earnest desire of the congregation where he was settled, and a dedication of an abridgement of Mr. David Brainerd's journal of his mission among the Indians of New Jersey and Pensylvania, to the honourable society for promoting Christian knowledge in the Highlands of Scotland, and in popish and infidel parts of the world, by which society Mr. Brainerd was employed in this work, and of which society our Author was one of the corresponding members. He also published a small piece of Mr. Some's, concerning inoculation of the small-pox, which was written and published principally to remove the common objection, from a religious scruple. In 1748 he revised the expository works and other remains of the excellent Archbishop Leighton, and translated his Latin prelections, which were printed together in two volumes at Edinburgh. The Archbishop's Commentary upon the first Epistle of St. Peter hath since been reprinted, under the inspection of the Reverend Mr. Foster, at London.
JONATHAN EDWARDS, D. D, We are now to speak of a man of whom it is not easy to speak with justice, without seeming to border upon adulation. There is also an additional difficulty which attends the Christian biographer when he aims to describe the characters of extraordinary men, and which the writers of other lives are generally allowed to forget :He must so represent the motives and actions of the persons be offers to view, as to remind his readers that they, no less than bimself, are to consider the uncommon excellencies of some characters, not as resulting from the mere force or acumen of natural ability, but as flowing entirely from the Divine Bounty for purposes of his own appoint